Review: El Somni

Posted in Food.

This film review was originally written for the online magazine, Eat Drink FilmsIt is used here with their permission. El Somni will have its San Francisco premiere on October 24th at Eat Drink Film's Food Day/Film Day celebration.

el-somni-posterLet’s face it, when food lovers sit down to enjoy a food-related film, they expect to be seduced. But few imagine the true feast for the senses that is El Somni (The Dream). Director Franc Aleu’s ethereal film documents a highly elite celebratory dinner, where the whole of the participants’ creativity is depicted as greater than the sum of their parts. This multisensory experience mirrors the event itself, but make no mistake, this is no simple food seduction. This is the story of a members-only dinner of the mutual admiration society, and fortunately, the audience gets to watch.

Tomatoes Galore

Posted in Food.

tomatoesIn the middle of winter, is there anything as unappealing as a sad, mealy tomato from the grocery store? That’s reason alone to celebrate the arrival of summer. Bursting with ripe juice, enticing with sweet viney aromas, and diverse in color and shape, tomatoes become worthy of their fruit status.

This past weekend, I attended a tomato party that a friend of a friend has been hosting in San Francisco annually for the last nine years. Everyone was asked to bring a different tomato-based dish. But this was no half-baked pot-luck—everyone thought outside of the box. While there were plenty of classic tomato recipes, including a gourmet grilled cheese and tomato soup, the number of unique dishes present would make your head spin. I’ll let you in on a few of my favorites.

In Love with Cacío e Pepe

Posted in Food.

lori-varsames-ink-cacio-e-pepeHaving Italian blood on both sides of the family has certainly allowed me my fair share of pasta. The Italian-American tradition of pasta marinara on Sundays has always been a highly anticipated meal of the week, without which I feel something is missing. But tonight, I finally tried the pasta dish that may just surpass all others: cacío e pepe—or cheese and pepper. So simple, so ridiculously fast and easy to prepare, and so incredibly gratifying. Am I subject to hyperbole? Let’s just say it’s in the DNA. But the thought of denying oneself the pleasure of this grown-up macaroni n'cheese seems silly.

Cacio e Pepe has always seemed intriguing to me. I’ve read about it for years, but I never really got around to making it. Maybe I imagined that it could never surpass a traditional marinara, a sinful carbonara, or an oily pesto. Over the last few weeks, my boyfriend, John, was eager to go see a new spice shop in Oakland that opened over the last year—the Oaktown Spice Shop. The store was beautiful, the gentlemen working there were knowledgeable (and delightfully free of the East Bay smugness), and we walked away with a great assortment of spices, including the wonderfully aromatic Kampot peppercorn varietal from Cambodia.

Lori Varsames Ink • Encinal Avenue; Alameda, CA 94501 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. • (510) 872-2827
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